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University and College Union survey

Young people are not optimistic about their future


The majority of unemployed young people want to be in work or education, but a third fear that they have no chance of securing a job, according to a new poll. It reveals a lack of optimism among Neets – those not in education, employment, or training – with high numbers saying that they feel like their potential is being wasted, and like they are not part of society.

Over a third (36%) of the 16 to 24-year-old Neets surveyed said that they feel they have no chance of ever getting a job. More than half (54%) of the young people polled said they had been Neet for a year or more, with 26% of those questioned saying they have been in this category for over three years.

The survey, commissioned by the University and College Union (UCU), also reveals that Neets are spending months out of work and education, with some in this situation for years.

Almost nine in 10 (88%) of the 1,000 Neets questioned said they want to be in work or studying, the poll found, while seven in 10 (71%) said that, with the right help, they could contribute a lot to this country.

UCU president Simon Renton said: "This report lays bare the deep personal impact that sustained unemployment has on young people. It is truly heartbreaking to see so many people who want to contribute more to society but are left feeling their outlook is desperate and hopeless.

The latest official statistics show that around one in six of all young people aged 16 to 24 – 909,000 (15.1%) in total – were Neet in the first quarter of this year.

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